The days are already getting longer, and spring cleaning is just around the corner, March 20, 2023, to be precise, and I wanted to share some methods that might help with that refreshing and energising task! Spring cleaning that puts a spring in your step
Space and Energy
I am a big fan of energy analysis, and I use the MSA® (MotivStrukturAnalyse) to help individuals understand their professional preferences and personal motivators so that they can increase energy in their lives.
We gain energy when we do things that bring us energy and when we are around people who generate energy.
When we let go of those tasks and people that do not bring energy - or rather take energy from us - we create more alignment with our purpose.
Spring cleaning operates along the same lines. By creating space, you are creating energy.
Once you start the spring cleaning process, whichever method you choose, you quickly realise you are comfortable with letting things go.
Plus. You won’t miss any of the items you let go because, let’s be honest, you had forgotten you had them anyway.
Mind and space
How do we feel after a good spring cleaning?
It’s no surprise that when we walk into a clean and tidy, non-cluttered room, there is a small satisfaction that things are organised and in their proper place, and we flow a little easier!
Mindset can be defined in many ways, but we know this for sure, the external environment can impact our energy and mindset more than we may anticipate or expect.
An organised home can impact our mood, as well as our physical and mental health. But sometimes, the big question is, where do we start? Which method do we use?
Let’s look at three and then my little twist on all of them combined.
I have always been organised and tidy. But when I first came across “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo, I enjoyed the simplicity of the KonMari Method™ (KonMari).
The simple explanation for the KonMari Method™ is tidying and eliminating by category and keeping only those things that “spark joy”.
This method is well-known as a guide to organising space and decluttering for a clean and functional home. There is even a series on Netflix!
I have used the KonMari Method™ since 2014 and still love vertical folding. It saves space and, more importantly, saves time when looking through drawers.
Plus, packing the suitcase with vertical folding is a revelation! (Yup, I still even fold my undies!)
Being someone who likes a cosy home, I often find examples of minimalism a bit extreme and sterile.
There are many books on creating a minimalist home. The one I like is “The More of Less: Finding the Life, You Want Under Everything You Own“ by Joshua Becker, who espouses “Live a better life with less.” And boy, he’s right.
In his approach to minimalism, he discusses how owning less gives you more life, helps you pursue your dreams and how you can experience the joy of generosity when you give some of your beautiful - albeit unused - items away.
Creating a place of peace, contentment, and purpose is not so shabby a goal when it comes to spring cleaning. And the idea that minimalism is not about what is taken away but what is achieved is a beautiful philosophy to live by.
It goes much deeper into the underlying issues of accumulation and how to use a clean home as a basis for a fulfilling life.
Recently, I came across the book “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter” by Margareta Magnusson, and I was fascinated.
In Sweden, it is referred to as döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.”
Swedish death cleaning helps families to reduce sensitive conversations post-death and makes the process of dealing with the aftermath of death more uplifting than overwhelming.
Cleaning out someone's home after they have died is not a joyous activity by all accounts, but if you are removing only beloved and useful items, it can reduce stress and the feeling of frustration for those that you leave behind.
Now, I know it sounds quite macabre, but it isn’t, not really. It is just an extreme version of the KonMari Method™ and is actually quite invigorating!
This process can be just as freeing for you or me, and it is an excellent thought process to take on at any age.
Use it to remove all unnecessary belongings from your home and life. Similar to minimalism, you retain only those things that you use, and that means something to you and remove those that you don’t want to be seen after your death.
Using this method, I recently got rid of years worth of journals that are barely legible and unnecessary for others to clean out when I die!
Removing possessions we can part with is easy when we have a few rules to follow. Now, here’s my twist on the above three methods.
Have you worn the clothes? (KonMari)
Do the items or objects spark joy? (KonMari)
Have you used the item? (Minimalism)
Have you ever used that present? (Minimalism)
Will you ever use the object or item? (Minimalism)
Do you intend ever to use this item? (Swedish Death Cleaning)
Do you want this in your home when you die? (Swedish Death Cleaning)
It is surprising how many things we keep around for “one day.” We will wear that coat again one day. We will use that fancy dish one day. We will use the spiraliser one day. (No? Just me?)
Sure, keep the photographs, love letters and a few art pieces but only those that remind you of special times. Though, as it turns out, photos aside, my sentimental items fit into a shoe box.
Unnecessary belongings have become endemic to our modern culture of consumerism. I have also fallen victim to buying things that sound like they will help me cultivate happy or healthy habits, only to find them collecting dust months later, never used.
Letting go of these items will open space for something new and more energy for the next thing you want to achieve.
Space in the house is space for the creative mind.
(Yeah, okay, I made that up, but I really believe it!)
Happy spring cleaning.
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